How to fix card cannot be accessed error in Canon camera and recover data

Abby Haines updated on Jun 12, 2019 to Storage Media Recovery | How-to Articles


Cannon camera SD card reports an error [Card cannot be accessed. Reinsert/change the card or format card with camera]. Formatting SD card would wipe data out and fix the problem. Do not rush to format the card if tons of pictures are there. Use EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard to recover files from an inaccessible SD card, and then remove the error with your camera or PC.

Error message - "Card cannot be accessed. Reinsert/change the card or format card with camera."

card cannot be accessed cannon

Canon SD Card Error

This is a common error accepted by Canon owners when they insert a card reader in the digital camera/DSLR/camcorder. So far, quite a lot of popular Canon models are infected, including:

  • Canon 7d, t5i, 80d, 6d, t1i, rebel t5, t3, 500d, 5d mark iii...

The "memory card cannot be accessed" error would prevent you from taking photos or viewing files. As the full error message implies, [1] try to reinsert the card for a couple of times, [2] change the card with a new one, or [3] format the SD card in the camera. Those manners are meant to make the card function well.

Before taking action to troubleshoot with suggestions, you must find a digital camera recovery solution first. Data recovery is prior to SD card repair, as long as you cannot afford to lose the media files in the malfunctioning storage card.

Quick Tip: If it's a brand new memory card that you use it for the first time, make sure that you format the SD card to FAT file system, which digital cameras can recognize it properly.

How to Recover Data from Inaccessible SD Card

Since formatting SD card would wipe data out, do not rush to format the card if tons of pictures and video clips are there. Use EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard to recover files from an inaccessible SD card, and then remove the error with your camera or PC.

What if you've formatted the card before coming to this solution? Don't bother, EaseUS hard drive recovery software is still able to recover formatted SD card data. Try to protect your lost videos and photos from overwriting by taking new photos. This act would help keep the lost data intact and safe for recovery.

Step 1. Run SD card recovery software and scan the card.

Launch EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard on your PC and select your SD card. Then click "Scan" to start finding lost data on your SD card.

select the sd card and click scan

Step 2. Check found SD card data.

After the scanning process, you can click "Filter" to quickly find wanted files.

find wanted sd card files

Step 3. Restore SD card data.

You can check and preview found files by double-clicking each one of them. Then click Recover to save found SD card files to a secure location on your PC or external storage.

recover sd card files

How to Format SD Card in Canon Camera & PC

  • In Canon Camera:

Make sure the camera battery is charged. Insert the SD card in your camera and turn it on.

  • Step 1: Hold the Up/Down button and open the menu.
  • Step 2: Select "Setup" or "Utilities".
  • Step 3: Choose "Format". You'll receive an alert: "Format card. All data will be lost". Leave the "Low level format" box unchecked because you don't need to do so.
  • Step 4: Select "OK". Take out the SD card and reinsert it in the camera. No error messages are there again. You'll get a blank card for reuse.
  • In a PC:

In fact, you have multiple free-to-use options to format SD card on a Windows computer, like using the diskpart command line and a third-party disk format utility.

  • Step 1: Connect the SD card with a card reader to your PC.
  • Step 2: In the Windows File Explorer, right-click the removable disk that represents your card, and select "Format."
  • Step 3: On the popup window, choose FAT under "File System" and Default Allocation Size under "Allocation Size". For other options, leave alone.
  • Step 4: Click "Start" to format the disk. Safely eject the SD card and insert back to the camera. No error messages are there again. You'll get a blank card for reuse.

How to Fix SD Card Not Formatted Error

What if you failed to format the SD card on both camera and PC? The causes to the Canon "SD card cannot be accessed" error will be a little different from the above part. For example, it might be SD card write protection, file system corruption and virus infection. To troubleshoot the error deeper, refer to the article "Windows was unable to complete the format".


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Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why choose EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard?

"EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard is the best we've seen. It's far from perfect, partly because today's advanced disk technology makes data-recovery more difficult than it was with the simpler technology of the past, but it's fast and efficient..."PCMag

"The first thing you'll notice about EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard Pro is that its interface is very clear and uncluttered, with only a small collection of self-explanatory controls. You won't find lots of extra options hidden in a system of hidden menus, either; what you see really is what you get."techradar

"Recover lost files, even after deleting a partition or formatting your drive."Macworld

2. Why cannot I recover 2GB data for free?

It is recommended to check the version installed is Free or Trial because they are different versions.

Trial has data preview function but cannot save any files, while the Free version enables to recover 2 GB files. The default free space is 500 MB and you may share the product on social media to get another 1.5 GB.

3. Why cannot the recovered files be opened?

A file is saved as 2 parts on the storage device: directory info (which is comprised by file name, time stamp and size info, etc.) and data content.

If the files with original file names and folder structures cannot be opened, one possible reason is the corrupted directory info. There is still a chance to recover the data content with the RAW Recovery method in our software.

4. Why isn't it suggested to recover the files back to the original drive?

The storage structure of the lost files would be altered or damaged by any changes on the drive. If you save the recovered files back to the same drive, the original data structures and data content would be corrupted or overwritten, which causes permanent data loss. So you should prepare another disk to save the files.

5. How can I check whether my data is recoverable or not before purchase?

The Free version helps you save 2GB files to better verify the recovery quality of our product before purchase.

6. How long does it take to scan the drive?

It strongly depends on the capacity of your hard drive and the performance of your computer. As reference,most drive recoveries can be completed in around 10 to 12 hours for a 1-TB healthy hard drive in general conditions.

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